Legal Commentary: Anthony Sebok Archive

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CAN SEPTEMBER 11 VICTIMS' FAMILIES SUE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, IF IT COULD HAVE PREVENTED THE ATTACKS AND DID NOT DO SO?
FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok examines the legal side of the media's recent obsession with one nagging question: In light of newly-revealed evidence, particularly the Phoenix memo expressing suspicions about al Qaeda flight training, could the government have prevented the September 11 terrorist attacks from occurring? Sebok raises a parallel legal question: If the government indeed could have prevented the attacks, can September 11 victims' families sue the government for failing to do so? Sebok clearly explains the complex law governing the issue.
Tuesday, May. 21, 2002

WILL THE CATHOLIC CHURCH REACH A GLOBAL SETTLEMENT WITH ALL ABUSE PLAINTIFFS?
WHY IT MIGHT, AND MIGHT NOT, HAPPEN

FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok mulls the possible significance of the fact that the Boston clergy abuse settlement recently fell apart. Will the church be able to reach partial settlements with some abuse plaintiffs, a global settlement with all, or will it have to face numerous trials? Should it try to defend itself on the ground that its supervision, in some cases, was not negligent? Sebok explains the major impediments to settlements by the Church, and notes the parallels between the clergy abuse cases and mass tort litigations such as the one concerning asbestos.
Monday, May. 06, 2002

CHILD ABUSE AS MASS TORT?:
HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S SCANDAL MAY PLAY OUT IN COURT

In Part One of a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok discusses what is likely to happen if the current scandal concerning alleged and, in some cases, proven child abuse by Catholic Church clergy results in hundreds, or thousands, of lawsuits -- and, thus, a "mass tort" situation. Sebok draws on Canada's experience in addressing large numbers of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by clergy to derive lessons as to what may happen if U.S. courts face similar suits.
Monday, Apr. 22, 2002

THE BROOKLYN SLAVERY CLASS ACTION:
MORE THAN JUST A POLITICAL GAMBIT

FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Tony Sebok dissects the complaint in the Brooklyn class action suit that seeks relief for every descendant of African American slaves in the U.S., and names three corporations as defendants. Sebok discusses both the suit's property law and its international human rights aspects, and speculates as to how the suit will affect the chances of the later, similar suit that is likely to be brought against the federal government.
Tuesday, Apr. 09, 2002

THE FINAL RULES FOR THE SEPTEMBER 11 VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUND:
ARE THEY A LAUDABLE MODEL, OR A LARGE MISTAKE?

FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok discusses the final rules for September 11 victims' compensation, set by Special Master Kenneth Feinberg. Sebok explains how the final rules, developed after Feinberg received comments, differ from the earlier version; why they nevertheless may not satisfy some critics; and whether they should serve as a model for compensation for future mass torts.
Monday, Mar. 25, 2002

CAN FORMER ENRON SHAREHOLDERS SUE THE COMPANY'S LAWYERS AND ACCOUNTANTS?
WHY CLAIMS ALLEGING NEGLIGENCE OR FRAUD MIGHT, OR MIGHT NOT, WORK

In Part Two of a two-part series on possible claims arising from the Enron debacle, FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok discusses the possibility of shareholders' suing Enron's accountants or lawyers under Texas tort law. Sebok contends that shareholders will have an uphill battle in the Texas courts, for a number of reasons, and analyzes two important Texas Supreme Court decisions that will set the legal framework for their claims.
Monday, Mar. 04, 2002

CAN TORT LITIGATION AGAINST ENRON WORK?
THE PROBLEMS AND POSSIBILITIES IN SUING A BANKRUPT COMPANY

In Part One of a two-part series, FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok takes on some of the legal ramifications of the Enron scandal. Sebok answers a number of fundamental questions, including these: Can the shareholders who lost money bring tort claims against Enron, even though they had no physical injuries? What about securities fraud claims, or claims of breach of fiduciary duty against Enron's board of directors? Does it make a difference that Enron is bankrupt, and if so, how?
Monday, Feb. 25, 2002

DEFENDING THE SEPTEMBER 11TH VICTIM COMPENSATION FUND:
WHY IN THE END, THE PLAN IS FAIR TO ALL

FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok takes a careful look at some of the most difficult questions arising from families' criticisms of the September 11 victims' compensation fund. Sebok asks: Are families of air passenger victims getting less from the fund than they would in settlements from a typical, non-September 11 plane crash? Do claims by families of victims who were not air passengers, and by property owners who lost property, have any legal merit, in light of foreseeability issues? And finally, is the plan fair to all, or only to some? Sebok explains both sides of each question, and offers his own conclusions.
Monday, Feb. 11, 2002

WILL LAWS COMPELLING INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF HEALTH INSURER TREATMENT DECISIONS SURVIVE SUPREME COURT SCRUTINY?
FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok discusses an important health insurance case recently heard by the Supreme Court. The case raises the following question: Forty states have laws requiring independent review of HMO decisions, but can these laws stand? Sebok makes clear the difficult issues regarding ERISA and state law the Court will have to address to decide this question.
Monday, Jan. 28, 2002

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